For the Crust
- 1 cup cookie crumbs (crispy pumpkin cookies, biscotti, Nilla Wafers, ginger snaps, or graham crackers)
- 1/4 cup pecans
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- pinch of salt
For the Filling
- 16 ounces room temperature (very soft) cream cheese
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup pure pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice blend
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 1 egg, plus one egg yolk (room temperature)
Whipped cream, and reserved cookies crumbles for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a standard size muffin tin by lining each well with a cupcake liner and spraying with nonstick baking spray.
Crush cookies and pecans with a food processor (or place in a plastic sealed bag and crush with rolling pin). Add melted butter and a pinch of salt and process until there is a sandy texture. Place about one tablespoon in the bottom of each lined muffin well and press firmly into the bottom of the well. I like to use the bottom of a 1/4 cup measuring cup.
Bake for 5 minutes, and then remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
In the meantime, add softened cream cheese to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed until creamy, and then add granulated sugar, brown sugar, sour cream, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, spices, and salt. Mix until well combined. Add eggs and whisk in on low speed until just combined.
Add about 1/4 cup of the cheesecake filling in each muffin well. They should be filled to the top of the muffin liner. Tap muffin tin on countertop to release air bubbles. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes. The center should still have a slight jiggle. Allow the cheesecakes to cool, then refrigerate 24 hours. Serve with whipped cream, and additional cookie crumbles for garnish.
These can be made ahead of time and frozen.
For my crust layer, I used pumpkin spice mini biscotti from Trader Joes. Loved the extra pumpkin spice!
Cheesecake will be smooth and silky in texture if all of the ingredients are at room temperature. I usually leave the eggs, sour cream, and cream cheese on the countertop for a few hours.
Try not to incorporate too much air into the cheesecake batter once the eggs are added. Just mix until combined.
Cheesecake tastes better when it is fully set and refrigerated 24 hours. I like to take it out of the refrigerator 15-30 minutes before serving.